10 Best Film Urban Legends

Filmthreat.com has a list of the "10 BEST URBAN LEGENDS IN FILM HISTORY". It's an interesting list, but I think they've chosen an odd choice for number one: the 'urban legend' about President Woodrow Wilson allegedly remarking that the ultra-racist film Birth of a Nation was like "history written with lightning" and "all terribly true." I've heard these comments attributed to Wilson many times. In fact, I can remember sitting in quite a few classes and listening to the lecturer make this exact claim. The remarks also appear in numerous history books. To be honest, until I read filmthreat's list I wasn't aware that there was any controversy about their truthfulness. Personally, I think Filmthreat may be cutting Wilson too much slack. While they point out that there's no definite evidence that he said these comments, there is anecdotal evidence that he did say them. When this is combined with Wilson's well-known views about race (he was the president who chose to resegregate the federal government after it was desegregated following the Civil War), it doesn't seem that unlikely that he might have said words to this effect, even if it wasn't those exact words.

Entertainment Urban Legends

Posted on Wed Dec 22, 2004


On the other hand, quote attributions are on of the most elusive historical footnotes available; they are to history what eyewitness accounts are to evidence: spotty at best, and often inaccurate. I often see references to W.C. Fields famous comment "any man who hates women and kids can't be all bad", when in fact this was said ABOUT him, at a celebrity roast in his honor. Mark Twain is one of the most misquoted characters in history, with Abraham Lincoln closely behind him. A few years back the Baz Luhrman hit "Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen" was largely and widely attributed (inaccurately) to Kurt Vonnegut. To me it sounds like they've done their homework on the quote.
One last note about quotes--they are often mistakenly attributed to people because they sound like something the person COULD have said; given Wilson's views on race, I would say this quote is likely in that category.
Posted by rwt1138  on  Wed Dec 22, 2004  at  07:19 AM
Ahh...After reading the article, I understand the post. I was thinking it was movies ABOUT urban legends...

As a side note, I thought Elizabeth Taylor was in the running to play Bonnie in "Gone With the Wind", but for whatever reasons, another child was cast.
Posted by Maegan  on  Wed Dec 22, 2004  at  11:27 AM
Read about "the day the clown cried". It is probably the worst movie ever made with a budget larger than $50. It starts with a hideous concept and gets worse.
Posted by anonymous  on  Sat Dec 25, 2004  at  02:04 AM
the woodrow wilson one is true
Posted by angelique  on  Thu Sep 21, 2006  at  12:27 AM
Ahh...After reading the article, I understand the post. I was thinking it was movies ABOUT urban legends...
Posted by ukash  on  Thu Jan 03, 2013  at  04:33 AM
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